The accidential Hacker

Harriet is a struggling painter.. One day she accidentially hacks into someone computer and it turns her whole life upside down

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9. The party

 

 *Harri POV*

On the night of the party, Zac sent a car to pick me up because he'd be working

late. I was glad because the dress he'd found for me was a Cinderella costume

(which after all the pantomime donkey jokes I'd made, I kind of deserved). It was

actually lovely, if rather unwieldy to wear on public transport

A beautiful black town car came to collect me and while it might not have been a

horse drawn carriage, I certainly felt like a princess heading to the ball. I just

hoped I wouldn't turn into a pumpkin come midnight.

The dress was blue and silver, with a pinched, corseted waist and a massive skirt

kind of Georgian in style. I also had a beautiful blonde wig and it was kind of cool

to see myself with light hair.

We pulled up at night club that had been hired out for the evening and the driver

helped me from the car which wasn't just nice, it was necessary with my massive

dress and hair. I thanked him and headed up to the entrance, which was roped off

to keep the paparazzi back.

Zac had warned me that they might be here but there wasn't a red carpet, so

posing wasn't necessary (unless I wanted to, which I certainly did not). With my

head held as high as I could manage, I headed to the doorman.

Name please?" he smiled at me

"Uh, Harri Calder. Harriett Calder."

He checked his clipboard "I'm sorry miss, you're not on the list."

Panic infused my whole body. "No, I am, Zac said he'd put me down because he

might be late."

"I'm sorry, Ma'am, I can't let you in." He was perfectly nice but he obviously

didn't believe me.

Jesus, he probably thought I was some stalker chick chancing my arm. I don't

think I have ever been so humiliated. And in front of the photographers. Right

now the fact that I didn't look like me was a small comfort.

I turned for the car but it had driven off and new people were exiting their

vehicles. I went to reach for my bag to text Zac, but I realised I must have left it

in the car.

In under a minute, my night had gone from magical fairytale to fiasco, and I

couldn't even enjoy the fact that Robert Downey Jr was walking past me. I paused

by the kerb but I had no idea how long I'd have to wait for Zac, he'd given the

impression that he might be up to an hour late, so I decided to go home. At least I

could contact him from there.

I had to walk some way down the road because I wouldn't be able to hail a cab in

all the melee around the entrance. I couldn't pay for the cab of course, but I had

some cash at home so hopefully he'd wait for me to go inside and get money

cabbies were usually nice.

I raised my hand to hail a few passing cabs but I think I was still so close to the

commotion outside the club, that the drivers were distracted and didn't notice

me.

I continued walking, my eyes stinging with tears but I refused to cry. What did

I expect, really? I was a nobody and I didn't fit in with Zac's circle. I shouldn't

have come tonight because clearly it was a huge mistake and I was deluded. It

was a mistake to ever believe I could be worthy of someone like him, he was so...

so perfect and I was just little old me.

"Harri! Harri, wait!"

I turned at the voice and saw Zac running towards me and I'm not afraid to say,

I was elated.

"Darling, where are you going?" he asked as he caught up with me.

"They wouldn't let me in, they said I wasn't on the list."

"You should have called me."

"I would have, except I left my phone in the car you sent, and I didn't know where

he had gone to get it back."

"I'm so sorry, love". He says softly.

"It's not your fault," I smiled.

"I'm sure he'll find your handbag soon but just in case, I'll call the company and

 let them know, make sure whoever picks us up this evening has it, okay?"

I nodded at my knight in shining armour and watched as he made a call and

sorted what seemed like insurmountable odds to little old me, with just a few

sentences.

Mind you, I would not usually be stopped by the loss of my bag, it was only Zac's

mobile phone that gave him the problem solving edge.

"Your driver will collect us." Zac said once he had hung up. "And he promises to

guard your purse with his life in the meantime."

He was so cheesy sometimes, but it was all part of his charm.

"Thank you".

"My pleasure, darling."

"What are you dressed as?" I asked, noticing the epaulettes and tails on his ornated 

dark blue jacket.

"Prince Charming Bastard," he answered with a light bow. "At your service."

I laughed. "Could you be any more perfect?"

He grinned. "Come on, let's get inside, you must be freezing out here."

I laughed with relief, the tears that had been threatening earlier finally spilling

over. Zac noticed immediately.

"You're upset."

"I'm happy," I assured him. "Thanks to you, my night has gone from pitiful to

perfect."

"Not quite perfect," he said, growing serious. "Not for me."

Oh God, had I done something wrong? "Why not?"

He was inching closer to me, lowering his head slightly.

"Because ever since we first spoke, I've been wondering what it would feel like to

kiss you and as of yet, I haven't."

There was nothing I wanted more. "We could fix that," I said breathlessly.

His nose is only a couple of inches from minee now and I could smell his 

aftershave something warm, spicy and slightly sweet.

"That's what I intend to do, starting right now."

Then he was kissing me. It was soft at first, hesitant and questioning, then he

kissed me again, slightly more forcefully. I finally responded, I think he'd frozen

my brain again for a moment. I wrapped my arms around him, holding him to me

and deepening the kiss.

Kissing him was like all of my favourite memories combined and wrapped up

with an edible chocolate bow.

Then he pulled away and I whimpered in unhappiness.

"Always leave them wanting more," he said in that honeyed voice of his.

"That's not fair," I pouted.

"You're shivering." He explained, as if I hadn't noticed.

"I don't care."

"I do. The night is young, Harri, we'll have plenty of time to continue this."

He moved to step away but I grabbed his lapels and hauled him closer again.

"You're really mean." I told him

"Am I?"

"Yes. You can't kiss a girl like that and just end it."

"Well, I could keep kissing you here in the street, but there's rather a large throng of

photographers just down there and they're bound to notice eventually."

"I don't care." I pulled on his lapels and he lowered his head enough that I could

kiss him, and kiss him I did.

It gave me a thrill that when I finally released him, he looked as dazed as he'd

made me feel.

"Um, wow, that, uh, that was..."

I hoped my smile didn't look as smug as it felt. "Come on Prince Charming, I

think we could both use a drink."

"Right, party, yes." He offered me his arm, which I took. "This way, my lady."

This time the photographers were interested in me, or at least, in who I was with

but I couldn't worry about them. It was hard to worry about anything when I was

around Zac.

"You can go in, sir, but your companion isn't on the list." The bouncer gave me a

look that said he wasn't impressed with me finding someone else to help me gain

entrance.

"Can you check again," Zac asked. "Harriet Calder."

He looked over the list, slightly disgruntled to have been questioned. "She isn'"t

here, Sir."

"She was a late addition, would you mind checking the end of the list, in case she

wasn't added alphabetically?'"

With a sigh, he did, and Zac manoeuvred to the side of him so he could see the

list.

"There she is," Zac pointed and grinned.

 The bouncer looked contrite and nodded at me. "My apologies, Ma'am."

I shyly nodded my acceptance, knowing that I had felt that I didn't belong here,

so I could hardly blame him for feeling the same.

"No real harm done." Zac assured him. "Come on, darling."

The bouncer held the door open for us as we entered.

It was busy inside, with people milling around everywhere but Zac had clearly

been here before and guided me straight to the bar, while I could hardly see

through the throng.

"A drink will soon warm you up," he said, flashing me a smile. "Do you like

whisky?"

"Are you trying to get me drunk?" I asked with one eyebrow raised.

"That's a good idea, I should try that. In the meantime...?'"

"Yes, I drink whisky, on the rocks, but not often." I answered.

He got the barman's attention and ordered two double Jameson's.

"Two doubles? My, you really do want to get laid," I teased.

"One shot for the cold, one for your nerves, and the other one is for me, a little

Dutch courage". He said grinning.

"Shame, I was looking forward to getting laid," I pouted in what I hoped was a

sexy manner

His response was to laugh, so I wasn't sure if I had been successful, until he bent

closer to my ear and whispered, his voice suddenly a bit rough. "Oh, don't worry, 

darling, you will."

 Holy shit that did quite a number on my poor ovaries, and I might have let 

 out a small whimpering sound.

Our drinks were placed before us and I sipped mine as we moved away.

"Hey, Zac, good to see you."

Robert Downey Jr said as he stopped him. They hugged in greeting.

"And who is this fine creature?" He asked, taking my hand.

"Cinderella, my girlfriend." Zac grinned. "But she sometimes goes by Harri."

Girlfriend? I wasn't about to correct him but hearing it said aloud made me as

giddy as a teenager on her first date with her crush.

Robert took my hand and kissed the back of it. "Charmed, my dear."

"No, he's prince charming," I answered, pointing my thumb at Zac. 

I was so not cool.

"I wondered at the ridiculous outfit. How is that Christmassy though?"

"Christmas panto is a British tradition and kind of and ongoing joke 

between us" Zac explained, "and Cinderella is a staple."

"I don't think I want to know what a 'panto' is. It sounds kinky."

"Who are you supposed to be?" Zac asked, taking in the bright red business suit

and white piping. He even had a red fedora with white trim. He looked rather like

the red Liberace of gangsters.

"I'm Santa." Robert answered, as if it should be obvious. "But with a twenty first

century makeover." He conceded. "I don't really do costume parties, this was as

close as Susan could get me to wearing one."

"I like it," I admitted. Well, I did... now that I knew what it was.

"Is this the girl you told me about?" Robert asked.

They talked about me?

"One and the same," Zac grinned.

Then it truly is a pleasure to meet you," he smiled at me. "Zac hasn't shut up

about you. Now you two are an item, I'm hoping he'll chill out a little."

I blushed

"Oh, and your artwork is lovely, by the way."

I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. "You saw it?"

"It was my Christmas present from Tom. I know, it's not Christmas yet but I suck

at waiting. Sorry, not sorry."

Zac laughed. "Somehow, I suspected you wouldn't wait and I know Tom did too".

 

*Zac POV*

I have watched Harri for most of the night, sneaking glances when I dared and

outwardly staring when I had the opportunity. I didn't care if she thought I was

weird.

I have never encountered someone like her before, she is unique. She thinks

that make her weird. I thinks it made her special.

There are no one quality that she possesses that is exclusive to her, rather it

Is the combination and contradiction of aualities that was unique to her. And I

do mean contradiction; she is a mass of them

She's beautiful, with the sort of face that could grace cat walks. Unlike many

beautiful women though, she appears to give only a cursory thought to her

appearance. I don't think she ever wore makeup when we chatted on webcam and

she frequently had a smudge of paint on her face. She only wore a touch of

mascara and lipstick when we went to the gallery and tonight, when she knew

she's be surrounded by celebrities, her makeup was simple; she has some powder

on her face but I know she isn't wearing foundation, because I can see her

freckles.

Then there's her art. The woman is seriously talented and I was surprised to find

myself emotionally moved by pop culture paintings. I couldn't say how she does

it, but she not only captured the mood of each Avenger, she made the viewer

experience it too. Yet she talks like she is some talentless hack; she has no idea

how much I admire her gift

Which leads me nicely into her esteem issues. She sees herself as dumb and

uneducated, but I see a woman whose breath of knowledge staggers me. Perhaps

she didn't do well in school but she clearly educated herself, perhaps through

reading. She once confided that she can read a book a day when she is so inclined,

and I believe her. I can't wait to go to her apartment and see what's on her book

shelves.

Earlier this evening she explained the results of a study she had read on the mind

of introverts and extraverts; apparently the differences are either caused by, or

result in different brain chemistry. That led to me mentioning recent studies on

the brains of serial killers, showing structural differences in their brains. She

knew exactly the area of research that I was speaking of and we philosophised on

what the ability to spot potential serial killers before they kill could mean for

society. Her insights and intelligence are as razor sharp as her wit.

Her thirst for knowledge surprised me too, she's always asking questions, asking

why, how and when. Despite having no interest in acting, she wants to know how

I work, and why I work that way.

She comes across as meek, preferring to hide her light under a bushel. Yet when

her family are threatened, she is as fierce as a tigress and there is a fire in her eyes

that screams of passion. A passion that I intend to do my utmost to ignite.

I bring her hand to my lips and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. The blue paint

encrusted in her nail bed didn't escape my notice, in fact it's one of those small

details that endears her to me, and reminds me that these hands are capable of

creating masterpieces.

The thing that makes me most excited to be with her though, is that I know I've

only scratched the surface of who she is and I can't help but wonder what delights

I'll discover over time. A penchant for Ukrainian folk music? A knowledge of

Pliny the Elder (she already mentioned that people used to use ground goat's

bones and goat's milk as toothpaste, one of his many recommendations)

She allows herself to be fascinated by the world around her and wants to

understand as much as she can about almost everything she encounters, no

matter how crazy it might sound, and she's had thirty years of making these

discoveries, so I never know what she'll come out with next.

I hope that one day, she will be able to see herself the way that I see her, and she

will realise that the qualities that she think makes her weird or a freak, in reality

what makes her exceptional.

"Darling?" I get her attention.

After a few drinks, she had loosened up and was no longer star struck. I probably

should have told her that this dress-up-Christmas party would be attended by a lot

of VIP's , but I really wanted her here and I was worried she might cry off if she 

knew this.

She had just finished chatting to a costume designer who worked for marvel, 

questioning her on hovw the metal embellishments on the costumes were 

made and before she got into conversation with someone else, I wanted to 

claim her for myself. Pulling on her hand, I guided her to the edge of the

 room, behind a booth where we wouldn't have an audience, and proceeded 

to kiss her senseless.

After quite a few minutes of that, she pulled away, leaving me breathless.

"What time is it?" she asked.

"Um, about ten, maybe."

"Is it too early to politely duck out?"

I smiled wolfishly and I think she must have seen my desire as she gasped softly

"Never," I assured her. "Besides, everyone here will soon be too drunk to know

when they left, let alone when we did."

"Call the driver." She instructed but as I took my phone out and placed the call,

she began to kiss my neck and jaw, giving me some very impure thoughts.

Somehow I managed to get through the call without groaning with need but it

was a close run thing."You are very naughty," I said once I'd hung up.

She pulled away and looked at me, her eyes shining with mischief. I was definitely

going to have my hands full with her and I couldn't wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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